Weekend trips to discover small towns are a fun a nice way to explore lesser-known places. Bentong, a district in Western Pahang, Malaysia, is a short one-hour drive from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
This small town is home to different food specialties, specifically Bentong ginger, ‘musang king’ durian but beyond that, foodies will find themselves in yummy tummy heaven with non-stop local food. It’s not all food and no play at Bentong lest you think it’s just a foodie-focused trip. Pair your weekend trip with some adrenaline-pumping adventure, take some Instagram-worthy photos with street art, and learn how that essential bottle of soy sauce found in every Asian household is made!
Set off from Kuala Lumpur and take a leisurely one hour drive to Bentong in the morning. If you’re heading out on a Sunday, then you should not miss visiting the Sunday morning market that operates from 7 am to 12 noon. Enjoy the lively vibes of a typical morning market that sells fresh produce. That’s where you can find the famous Bentong ginger (fresh, dried, ground powdered form), Bentong soy sauce that you can buy to stock up your pantry.
Missed the Sunday morning market? No problem! Arrive in Bentong in time to start your day with a hearty breakfast. Thong Kee Kopitiam is a place not to be missed for its coffee and kaya toast; indulge in a plate of old school wanton noodles if you’re up for something hearty.
You cannot visit without tasting its famed produce – ginger. The best way to do so is to savour a nice bowl of tau fu fah (soy beancurd pudding) with a sugary syrup infused with Bentong ginger for that sweet ending with a mildly spicy kick.
Now energised, you can start exploring Bentong town. Walk around town along Jalan Chui Yin and search for beautifully painted street art. These interactive wall murals make great photo opportunities with many of the images featuring the things that Bentong is known for.
Bentong Gallery is a place where you can learn about the history and culture of Bentong to how it came to be today. Apart from exhibits and information that existed, you can also grab some snacks and drinks at its café.
Lemang To’Ki is a popular and highly recommended restaurant among locals and domestic visitors and just a 6-minute drive from Benton town. They are known for their lemang (coconut glutinous rice cooked in a bamboo stick over charcoal fire). This dish goes well with their rendang (choose from chicken or beef) and ayam bakar (charcoal-grilled chicken). If you’re not keen on lemang, you can choose from other local delights like nasi lemak, lontong, nasi campur (mixed rice), and more.
Now that your bellies are filled, head to Chamang Waterfalls, an attraction that you cannot forgo. It is a popular spot with locals and visitors alike, and you can enjoy wading in the shallow waters at the base of the falls, or take a dip and swim if you’re up to it! Surrounded by trees and nature, it’s a nice respite from the city.
There is a small entrance fee to be paid, and there are plenty of car park lots as well public toilets and changing rooms for use so feel free to jump into the water for a refreshing time!
If you’re spending a night in Bentong, head to Bilut Hill, a boutique retreat overlooking greenery. It’s a peaceful and chill place to relax after a day’s activities and to soak in the calming views of the surrounding hills and rainforest, and you definitely won’t want to miss the picturesque sunset.
Indulge in a leisurely dinner; you can opt for a BBQ dinner on the terrace while enjoying the cool of the evening breeze.
Just a 10-minute drive from Bilut Hills, visit Melipoly Stingless Bee Farm, specialising in the production of pure, organic raw honey from the Malaysia rainforest. Learn about their beekeeping techniques and definitely grab a few bottles of organic honey home as gifts or for yourself.
Next up, it’s time to ramp up the adrenaline in you at Bilut Extreme Park. Go on an ATV tour to explore and test your driving skills – from crossing streams to revving uphill – you will be in for a fun and challenging ride! Test your aiming skills with a round of archery or paintball if riding on the ATV is not your thing.
As you leave, drive along to roads back to Bentong town where it’s lined with durian plantations, make sure you stop by the roadside and indulge in their famed ‘Musang king’ durian. The aroma (or stench to some) of durian fills the air during the durian season as you drive along. Sorry, non-lovers of durian!
Have a late lunch back at Bentong town and don’t forget to continue your foodie indulgence with dessert at TAK Ice Cream or Kow Po Ice Cream Shop. Both shops are famous for their local ice treats like Chendol, shaved ice, while the latter prides itself in its homemade ice cream flavours like pandan and coconut. We’d recommend you try the ice treats at TAK and enjoy Kow Po’s ice creams.
No visit to Bentong is complete if you don’t buy a few bottles of soy sauce back. While you can grab them from the street stalls in town, why not visit the factory and see how the soy sauce is made? Head to Kicap Bentong Soy Sauce Factory and you can take a short tour to learn the soy sauce making from attentive staff. Be sure to check out their massive fermentation pots!
Now that’s a good 2 days 1 night spent with a mix of nature, adrenaline, and loads of food filled in your bellies don’t you agree?